Thursday, 19 November 2009

Honouring the marriage Anniversary of Imam Ali (A.S), and Fatimah Zahra (A.S).

My greetings and congratulations to you on this most auspicious of days, the anniversary of the marriage between amir-al-mohmineen, Ali ibn Abbu talib (A.S), and saeeda Fatimah Zahra (A.S). My greetings to you on this day worthy of your smiles and celebrating: this day, that focuses on the sacred nature of not only the institution of marriage, but the indispensable nature of a true life companion, who is as the qur’an states: a garment for you: and you a garment for them. There are many examples from the lives of these 2 sacred and blessed personalities for us to meditate and reflect on. Today also marks the celebration of my dear friend and sister, Rizwana with her husband-to-be, Rizwan. From childhood, Rizwana desired that her marriage be held on this date, but of course she had no idea that her life would take her far across the world to find the man of her dreams and her reality too: now those dreams come true for her mashallah, and here I sit in a dark damp Glasgow wishing I was there to hug her tight and share her happiness on the most special day of her life! For now, I can only make dua, and ask you to do the same, for Rizwan and Rizwana, for your own married life and for the lives of those of us yet to find that person who completes our reality.

I leave you with a beautiful account of the most perfect marriage of all: between Imam Ali (A.S) and bibi Fatimah Zahra (A.S), May All our marriages contain even a fraction of the humbleness, dignity and pure divine love that governed their relationship Insha Allah.

When Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) attained the age of maturity and was ready to get married, the Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) started receiving proposals from various
people for his daughter. Hazrat Salman Farsi(r.a.) and Hazrat Umm-e-Salma(r.a.) narrate that "When Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) attained the marriageable age, the
important people among the tribe of Quraish started sending proposals to the Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) but the Prophet (sawaw) did not accept any proposal
saying that he was waiting for the order of Allah(swt) to decide this matter". Among the aspirants for the marriage was Umar ibn-e-Khattab as well but
he received the same reply.

<< Imam Ali(a.s.) makes the proposal >>
Hazrat Umm-e-Salma(r.a.) narrates that : One day Imam Ali(a.s.) approached the Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) at his house. Imam Ali(a.s.) entered and greeted
the Prophet(sawaw) and the Prophet(sawaw) replied in the same kind manner. Imam Ali(a.s.) sat down and he was so much shy that he continued staring at
the ground and could not utter a word. The Prophet(sawaw) smiled and said to Imam Ali(a.s.) that he knew what Imam Ali(a.s.) had to say but he wanted to
hear it from him. He told Imam Ali(a.s.) that he does not need to be shy and to say whatever he wanted to say.

With this encouragement and soft tone from the Prophet(sawaw), Imam Ali(a.s.) said "My parents be ransom for you, you know that since my childhood, I have
dedicated myself for your service. You have educated me from the beginning and brought me to this status. It was because of your influence and training
that Allah(swt) saved me from all sins and guided me to the Sirat-e-Mustaqeem. It is because of your encouragement that I feel this courage in myself to
express my heartfelt wish that you give me the honor of becoming your son-in-law. I have concealed his wish in my heart for a long time thinking that this
might not be according to your wishes. Is there a possibility that this could happen?".

<< Proposal accepted >>
Hazrat Umm-e-Salma(r.a.) narrates that "I was watching this affair from a distance and I saw that as soon as Imam Ali(a.s.) completed his request, the face
of Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) lit up and he asked Imam Ali(a.s.) - what have you got to realize this act?". Imam Ali(a.s.) said "O Prophet of Allah(swt),
you know my condition very well, I have only a sword, an armor and a camel". Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) said: "Ali, you definitely need your sword for fighting
Jihad and camel for traveling, however, you armor could work. O Abul Hassan(a.s.), I want to give you the good news that Allah(swt) has made the decision
and already recited your Nikah with my daughter Fatima(s.a.) in the Arsh. Just before your arrival, Allah(swt) sent an angel to give me this good news."

This event has been narrated in "Maarij an-Nabuwwah" of Moeen Kashfi, "Sifwatul Safada" of ibn-e-Jozi, "Madarij an-Nabywwah" on 2:75 of Shah Abdul Haq Dehalvi.

<< Nikah recited on the Arsh >>
"Maarij an-Nabuwwah" also states that Hazrat Jabreel(a.s.) narrated the story of the Nikah recited on the Arsh. He said "O Prophet of Allah(swt), Allah(swt)
has chosen you and made you the most respected and high among his creatures and has selected Ali(a.s.) as your brother and has decided that the Nikah of
your daughter and the servant of Allah(swt), Fatima(s.a.) would be with Ali(a.s.). Allah(swt) arranged for their Nikah in such a manner that he addressed
the dwellers of Jannah to dress themselves with ornaments of Jannah and then ordered all the angels to assemble together on the 4th Sky. He then filled
the 4th sky with Noor and then appointed Hazrat Adam(a.s.) to recite Khutba to begin the Nikah ceremony. After khutba of Hazrat Adam(a.s.), Allah(swt)
ordered an angel named Raheel to recite Hamd. Raheel is the most beautiful of angels and possesses the most beautiful voice. After recitation of Hamd,
Allah(swt) informed me (Jabreel(a.s.)) that He has performed the Nikah of His servant Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) with His chosen person Imam Ali(a.s.) and that
I should spread this news among the angels. I acted accordingly and made all the angels testify the event. Allah(swt) then ordered me to write all this
event on this silk cloth of Jannah and present it to you."

After mentioning this event, Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) said "O Abul Hasan(a.s.), the order of Allah(swt) has been served and I invite you to come to the mosque
so that this Aqd should be formalized on the earth as well among witnesses."

Such was the importance of this marriage that Allah(swt) arranged the ceremony on Arsh and then Himself decided and recited the Nikah of Imam al-Muttaqeen,
Amir-ul-momineen Ali ibn-e-Abi Talib(a.s.) with the leader of the women of this world and in paradise Hazrat Fatima(s.a.).

The above event has been mentioned in various other books as follows:

- Muaraj an-Nabuwwah
- Al asaba fee tameez as-Sahaba
- Sawaeq-e-muharriqa by Ibn-e-Hajr Makki
- Al Bayan wal Bateen by Allam Jaahiz
- Nuzhat-ul-Majalis by Allama Abdur Rehman Safori
- Riyaz un-Nazrah fee Manaqib-ul-Ashra by Allama Muhib Tabri

<< Nikah recited on Earth >>
Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) led Imam Ali(a.s.) into the mosque and asked him to sell off his armor and present that money to the Prophet(sawaw). The dress was
sold in 400 dirhams according to some traditions, and the proceeds were presented to the Prophet Mohammmd(sawaw) who gave them to Hazrat Salman Farsi(a.r.)
and Hazrat Bilal(a.r.) and asked them to buy some articles of use from the market. They went to the market and bought the following items as jahez (dowry)
of Hazrat Fatima(s.a.)

- Two mattresses made of Egyptian canvas. (One stuffed with fiber and the other with sheep wool).
- A leather mat.
- A pillow made of skin, filled with palm tree fiber.
- A Khaibarion cloak.
- An animal skin for water.
- Some jugs and jars also for water.
- A pitcher painted with tar.
- A thin curtain made of wool.
- A shirt costing seven (7) dirhams.
- A veil costing four (4) dirhams.
- Black plush cloak.
- A bed embellished with ,ribbon.
- Four cushions made of skin imported from Ta ‘ef stuffed with a good smelling plant.
- A mat from Hajar.
- A hand-mill.
- A special copper container used for dyestuff
- A pestle for grinding coffee.
- A (water) skin.

When the items of Jahez were received, Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) went to Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) and said "Your Nikah has been recited on the Arsh by Allah(swt)
with my cousin Ali(a.s.) and He(swt) has ordered me to recite your Nikah on the earth as well. I have gathered my companions to do so and now seek your
agreement and permission to recite this Nikah." Hearing this, Hazrat Fatima Zahra(s.a.) bowed her head with shyness which indicated her agreement. The
Prophet(sawaw) came out of her hujra and ordered Hazrat Bilal(a.r.) to gather all Ansaar and Muhajireen. Once the companions were gathered, Prophet Mohammad(sawaw)
recited Hamd of Allah(swt) and narrated to his companions that Jibreel(a.s.) had informed him that Allah(swt) has performed the Nikah of Hazrat Ali(a.s.)
with his daughter on the Arsh and has ordered him to recite the same on the earth as well. He asked Imam Ali(a.s.) to formally request for the marriage
in front of the witnesses. After reciting greatness of Allah(swt) and presenting his profound gratitude to him and reciting darood for Prophet Mohammad(sawaw),
Imam Ali(a.s.) formally requested for the marriage. Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) accepted the request and made all the companions witnesses. Upon hearing this
all the companions greeted Imam Ali(a.s.) and the Prophet(sawaw).

Prophet Mohammad(sawaw) recited the Nikah himself and asked Imam Ali(a.s.) if he accepted the Nikah for a Mehr of 400 Misqaal of Silver. Imam Ali(a.s.)
accepted and then the Nikah was formally concluded. Both offered Sajda-e-Shukr to Allah(swt) and all the companions present there congratulated and greeted
both Imam Ali(a.s.) and the Prophet Mohammad(sawaw).

<< Marriage and move of Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) >>
A non-planned period of time elapsed between the nikah and the wedding ceremony, because Imam Ali(a.s.) was too shy to ask the Prophet to assign a day for
the wedding, while He(sawaw) wanted to protect Fatima’s pride by refraining from asking Imam Ali(a.s.) to do so.

A month or more passed by before Imam Ali(a.s.) said anything regarding the wedding. Aqeel (Imam Ali(a.s.)’s brother) asked him about the reason for the
delay in holding the wedding ceremony and encouraged him to prepare for the wedding and to ask the Prophet(sawaw) to assign a date for it. Despite Imam
Ali(a.s.)’s shyness, he accompanied Aqeel to the Prophet’s house to fulfill his wishes. On their way to the Prophet’s house, they met Um Ayman(r.a.) who,
when told the reason for their visit, asked them to leave the matter to her. She, in turn, informed Um Salama(r.a.) who brought the matter to the attention
of the Prophet(sawaw) who called for Imam Ali(a.s.) and asked his opinion. Imam Ali(a.s.) expressed his desire to bring Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) to his home
which was donated by one of his followers. The Prophet(sawaw) asked Imam Ali(a.s.) to hold a dinner (walima) because Allah(swt) is pleased with those who
do so; for the social good it does-such as bringing people together and implementing love and harmony among them.

Imam Ali(a.s.) arranged for the dinner and invited the people to the feast. Men and women from all around Medina gathered in the house. They ate, drank
and even took food to their homes. The blessings of the Prophet(sawaw) were obvious on that day, for not only the food was enough to feed everyone, but
also it did not decrease at all. The Prophet(sawaw) asked for food containers to be brought and filled them and sent them to his wives and left a special
container for Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) and her husband.

By sunset, the wedding night had begun; it was time for Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) to depart to her new home. Everything went well, for the Prophet(sawaw) had
made all the necessary preparation for the wedding. Despite the simplicity and modesty of her wedding, Hazrat Fatima(s.a.)’s marriage ceremony was surrounded
by signs of greatness, excellence, and beauty.

The Messenger of Allah(sawaw) ordered his wives to embellish Hazrat Fatima(s.a.) before the wedding; they perfumed and dressed her with jewelry. They all
helped her to get ready; some combed her hair while others embellished and dressed her in the dress brought by Gabriel from the Paradise. Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi
in Tareekh Baghdad V.5, P.7, Al-Hamvini in Durar Al-Simtain, Al-Dhahabi in Mizan Al-Etedal, Garani in Akhbar Al-Dowal, and Qandouzi in Yanabi’ Al-Mawaddah
have narrated that Ibn Abbas said:
‘When Fatima was taken to Ali’s house on her wedding night, the Prophet(sawaw) preceded her, Jibraeel was on her right, and Mikaeel on her left, and seventy
thousand angels followed her. These angels praised and glorified Allah(swt) until dawn!

The Hashemite men, Abdul Muttalib’s daughters, and Muhajarin and Ansar’s women all accompanied Fatima’s caravan that night. The Prophet’s wives joyfully
led the caravan; they were also the first to enter the house.

Upon arriving, the Prophet(sawaw) placed Hazrat Fatima(s.a.)’s hand in Imam Ali(a.s.)’s hand and said:

"May Allah bless his Messenger’s daughter;
Ali! this is Fatima, you are responsible for her (or I entrust her to you)
Ali, what an excellent wife Fatima is!
Fatima, what an excellent husband Ali is!
O Allah, bless them, bless their lives, and bless their children.
O Allah, surely they are the most beloved to me from among your creatures, so love them too, and assign for them a guardian.
I place them and their progeny under your protection from the curse devil."

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